imagesSome fifty major Honduran human rights organizations wrote a letter to the New York Times in response to a recent commentary by a journalist who claimed that U.S. aid is helping Honduras to overcome the violence that has characterized the nation since the 2009 coup d’etat. The commentary, an echo of the State Department’s  position that the U.S. government must “engage” despite the widely documented fact that the recipient government is guilty of major human rights abuses, argues that small-scale programs such as the one profiled are decreasing homicide rates.

The Coalition Against Impunity wrote the letter, which the New York Times declined to publish, to state that contrary to the writer’s opinion, their nationwide grassroots experience has led them to the conclusion that U.S. aid is doing far more harm than good. While the NYT writer urged legislators to reject suspension of aid as required in the “Berta Cáceres Human Rights Act” currently before Congress, the Honduran rights organization argue for full support of this act as essential to breaking the system of corruption and impunity in their country.


Re: How the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer

As the Coalition Against Impunity, a group of Honduran civil society human rights organizations, we strongly disagree that the impact of US aid is positive. Our experience on the ground shows that violence is rampant –and seriously underreported—and we still face high levels of impunity. For this reason, we recently sent a letter to the US Congress demanding suspension of aid to the Honduran State under the Alliance for Prosperity, due to the lack of political will to protect human rights.

Nazario’s opinion piece calls for more U.S. aid precisely when a group of 31 legislators led by Rep. Hank Johnson has presented the much-needed “Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act” to suspend all security aid to Honduras following Caceres’ assassination last March. Among those detained are two army officers, one on active duty.

To cite supposed progress in one neighborhood and deduce that US aid benefits our whole country is either careless or tendentious. The human rights crisis in Honduras will only improve when the US ceases to support a government that commits crimes against its own people with impunity and, rather than being sanctioned, is rewarded with millions of US taxpayer dollars.

The Coalition Against Impunity (Honduras):

Asociación de Jóvenes en Movimiento (AJEM); Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (AJD); Asociación de Mujeres Intibucanas Renovadas (AMIR); Asociación Feminista Trans (AFeT); Asociación FIAN Honduras; Asociación Hermanas Misioneras de San Carlos Borromeo Scalabrinianas; Asociación Intermunicipal de Desarrollo y Vigilancia Social de Honduras (AIDEVISH); Asociación LGTB Arcoiris de Honduras; Asociación Nacional de Personas viviendo con SIDA (ASONAPVSIDA); Asociación para una Ciudadanía Participativa (ACI-PARTICIPA); CARITAS – Diócesis de San Pedro Sula; Centro de Derechos de Mujeres (CDM); Centro de Desarrollo Humano (CDH); Centro de Educación y Prevención en Salud, Sexualidad y Sida (CEPRES);  Centro de Estudios de la Mujer Honduras (CEM-H); Centro de Estudios para la Democracia (CESPAD); Centro de Investigación y Promoción de Derechos Humanos (CIPRODEH); Centro para la Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de Víctimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares (CPTRT); Colectivo Diamantes Limeños LGTB; Colectivo Gemas; Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa; Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos de Honduras (COFADEH); Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos de El Progreso (COFAMIPRO); Comité por la Libre Expresión C-Libre; Convergencia por los Derechos Humanos de la Zona Nor Occidental; Crisálidas de Villanueva;  Coordinación de Instituciones Privadas por las niñas, niños, adolescentes, jóvenes y sus derechos (COIPRODEN); Equipo de Monitoreo Independiente de Honduras (EMIH); Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC-SJ); Feministas Universitarias; Familia Fransciscana de Honduras (JPIC); Frente Amplio del COPEMH; Foro de Mujeres por la Vida; Foro Nacional para las Migraciones (FONAMIH); Foro Social de la Deuda Externa y Desarrollo de Honduras (FOSDEH); Indignados Unidos por Honduras; JASS en Honduras; Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia (MADJ); Movimiento Diversidad en Resistencia (MDR); Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz “Visitación Padilla”; Observatorio Permanente de Derechos Humanos de El Aguán; Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral (OCDIH); Pastoral de Movilidad Humana de Honduras; Red de Mujeres Jóvenes de Cortés; Red de Mujeres Unidas de Colonia “Ramón Amaya Amador”; Red de Participación de Organizaciones de Sociedad Civil Siguatepeque (RPOSC); Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras; Tribuna de Mujeres contra los Femicidios; Unión de Empresas y Organizaciones de Trabajadores del Campo (UTC – La Paz).

Tirza Flores Lanza


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